Finding your perfect wedding photographer takes a little time, but when the end result is the images that will be looked back upon for the rest of your life together, the initial investment of time is absolutely worth it.
Let's start off with the most important thing to remember. Choose a wedding photography style that YOU as a couple like. It’s not about what looks best on Instagram. It’s not about inspiring others or inducing envy, or even about pleasing Great Aunt Doris. It’s not about what you feel you should have or what is on-trend, but what you want.
FIND YOUR FAVOURITE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS STYLE
Finding the style which naturally appeals to you both actually isn’t that tricky. The first stage is research - the Rock My Wedding Inspiration section will become your best friend. If you like one wedding by a specific photographer, have a look at more of their work. Get a free Rock My Wedding account and favourite the weddings you love. Also save specific images you like of details, entertainment ideas, dresses, etc onto a Pinterest board. Once this board starts filling out you will soon see a pattern emerging. It will likely radiate one or two styles more dominantly. You should also start to see a pattern of shot styles that are most important to you. Candid shots of families and friends, stunning couple portraits, formal group shots, inspiring details. Your Pinterest board is now looking surprisingly cohesive, and you’ve been pinning furiously throughout every lunch break, but what actually is this style you seem to be loving?
FILM VS. DIGITAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Digital is now the most common type of shooting, and you will find some wedding photographers who will shoot in both digital and film. Which you prefer is a very personal decision. Digital photography is almost without limitation; and will undoubtedly mean you are faced with a larger selection of imagery. Your digital photographer will be able to explore almost all light situations, adjusting to changes immediately. Shooting with film is, as expected, more expensive due to the time for processing, and the equipment used, however, images shot with film have a rich, organic quality to them that is easily identifiable. Remember that dark lighting situations are harder to handle on film, so think about your venue, timings, season, etc. Once you know whether you’re a film or digital kinda couple you can narrow down your style.
REPORTAGE / DOCUMENTARY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Documentary-style wedding photographers capture the day as it unfolds. They will anticipate special moments, react quickly, and capture genuine emotions as they happen. The style itself is candid, approachable, and spontaneous, so they will make everything look its best but there will be minimal intervention. Whilst documentary-style wedding photographers pride themselves on being unobtrusive they will have the confidence to direct in a quick and friendly way to ensure you don’t miss out on a mantlepiece shot for your mum. The photographer will want you and your guests to relax and have the time of your life, and your images will reflect that story.
Fine Art Wedding Photographers
This style is about creating art at every turn. The term Fine Art was once reserved for images shot on film but has now evolved to include hybrid and digital photography too. There is a certain softness and romance to fine art photography which utilises beautiful natural light to tell the story of your day. Every element of your day will be captured in an editorial style that celebrates the finer details. Composition is key in fine art photography, so your photographer may be more likely to style aspects of the day before capturing their shots.
Moody & Dark Wedding Photographers
Artistic and dramatic, this photography is not for the faint-hearted. The contrast of this moody style when shot digitally can sometimes be mistaken for film photography, as it has the depth of hue and richness. We’ve always been fans of naturally lit wedding photography here at Rock My Wedding, and this is no different, however the light is played in a contrasting, rich way. If you like pastel shades and bright pops, this probably isn’t for you, but the timeless, film like quality makes for beautiful storytelling.
Traditional & Classic Wedding Photographers
Traditional and classic wedding photographers will likely be working from a scheduled shot list. They will be happy to coral and direct their shots to make sure that every friend and family member is captured in their best light. The photographer will be directional and experienced, so will capture everything you expect, from the family shots to the styling. Some couples prefer knowing that their shots will be posed and directed into group, family, and couple portraits. Classic photographers will also catch snippets throughout the entire day so often there is also some reportage style photography in your final edit, but the focus will be on capturing those all-important moments that you dictate.
SORTING THROUGH WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS
You’ve found your style and you know you’re looking for a photographer who will capture how your day felt, not just how it looks. Now, how to find them... Your research may have identified a few wedding photographers who you really love, which is great, but it may have just narrowed down the style for you, so your first step is to consult a trusted source. We’ve worked with endless wedding photographers, and know what makes a good one. By using Recommended by Rock My Wedding you will find wedding photographers who will capture your day with care, love, and attention. You can also favourite suppliers from Recommended to be reviewed later via your dashboard. Soon you will be left with a handful of professionals whose work and ethos you love.
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER NEXT STEPS
Contact your shortlisted wedding photographers to see if they fit within your photography budget and are available for your wedding date, you can do this directly from their profile on Recommended.
Meet with your photographer either face to face or virtually to see if there's a personality fit. Can you spend all day with this person? You need to get on, they’re a guest at your wedding and you'll be spending a lot of time together. Are they going to put you at ease? Are they as excited about your vision for the big day as you are? Have they shot your venue before? Dig deeper, ask to see entire weddings, from start to finish, rather than just a carefully curated selection. You should expect to see everything from getting ready shots, to dance floor rug cutting. You want to know that your final edit will be made up of a good mix of people, detail shots, and have a consistent style and colour story throughout. Share your plans with them; your Pinterest boards will help them to really understand what your plans are, and how you anticipate them being captured.
Once you've met with them all, sit down and start the decision-making as a couple. We recommend accompanying this process with something bubbly and/or tasty. Once you've made up your mind, contact your chosen photographer first to secure your date and begin their booking process. We also recommend that you contact those who you have met but chosen not to go with so they know where they stand and are free to meet with other potential clients for that date. Also, it's just good manners.
Once you're happily chatting with your chosen photographer about your wedding day, you may find our article on the 10 Must Have Wedding Photos handy.